I have always been very close to my Dad, so when he died I was bereft. He had held my hand literally and metaphorically throughout my life. I was left with an overwhelming sense of emptiness.
When I was ready, the idea of making a sculpture in his honour helped me focus on his life, and specifically our relationship, rather than his death.
Kate and I talked about him, what he enjoyed, his character, significant places and things. There was a bay, a hill, his love of photography and music, his kindness and warmth. And his intense blue eyes. She was sensitive, thoughtful and imaginative in how this mish mash of ideas could come together in stone and glass.
Kate made a maquette first, then the final piece in Portland stone and glass. It captures the essence of my Dad – what mattered to him and what connected us. I love it.
When I look at it I think of my Dad, not in a sad way. It makes me remember him and smile.
Since we made the memorial sculpture to remember Jos’s Dad, sadly her Mum has died too. We felt honoured that she came to ask us to design and make something for her too, here’s the story behind her memorial vase in Jos’s own words.
When I think of Mum, I think of creativity. No matter what she turned her hand to, gardening, making clothes, creating a beautiful home, cooking…it was done with an eye for colour and design.
I wanted this memorial piece to truly reflect her. She was quiet and modest, beautiful and practical.
Her artistic career began with her grandmother and aunt, both artistic, leading inevitably to art college. This was in the 1950s, with all the post war promise of better times. She specialised in printmaking and produced the most beautiful designs, painstakingly executed with the care and attention to detail with which she was to become renowned.
In discussing my ideas with Kate, it became clear that we should use some of my Mum’s design motifs and subtle colour combinations in the piece. And it needed to be functional.
Kate spent a huge amount of time discussing and trialling the processes involved with other makers in order to achieve something perfect. I could not be happier with the result. The shape of the vase, the motifs scribed into it and the layering of colours all reflect the work of my Mum. She would love it! I haven’t used it as a vase yet, but knowing it could hold a display from a garden makes it even more reflective of her.